Since I make my students blog each semester, I am always asked how do I grade the blogs. In my opinion blogs are hard to grade, but with my new rubric I created last semester, I found that it’s much easier when you look for specific details in a student’s blog. These are the four areas that I grade my students’ blogs:
1. Content (100 points)–A student fully discussed the topic and used examples and research. The post shows depth and understanding of the topic.
2. Structure (100 points)–The posts are coherent, and well organized. The student broke the post up into paragraphs instead of writing one big block paragraph.
3. Creativity (100 points)–Did the student create an interesting and well designed post. Did the student give examples, post pictures or video if necessary. Did the student include links to enhance the information.
4. Mechanics (100 points)–Did the student have excellent sentence structure, grammar, and diction. Did the student use punctuation and citation styles correctly. Are there minimal spelling errors and no run-on sentences or comma splices. The post conforms in every way to format requirements.
I first grade on quantity. I require 20 blog posts a semester. I check to see if they have the required 20 blog posts. If they do not, I start subtracting points. Since the blog is worth 400 points, I subtract 20 points off for each missing post–ouch! (You would not believe how many students fail just because they did not post to their blog)
I really want students to create interesting content. I want students to add depth to their post so I require one source per post. I usually require 250 words and encourage paragraphs. I teach them basic web writing skills. Some students really get into blogging and use visuals and links. Some students just write one big block of text. I encourage students to take pride in their work and when a blog looks good–grades look good.
I find the students who care enough to make their blogs visually appealing are the ones whose content is also well done. I tell students that blogging is writing practice. I take that into consideration. Students may start out weak, but hopefully end the semester as stronger writers with better research and argument skills.